Release Date:  11/07/2013

Incident Type: Beware Of Publisher’s Clearing House Scam By Phone Impersonating Federal Agent

Contact Person:  Captain Patrick Whitney, 575-763-9436

The Clovis Police Department asks the public be aware of a new phone scam in the area in which a phone call is made to a potential victim telling them they won a cash prize from Publisher’s Clearing House. This scam has already been reported in California, Colorado and Utah. The caller asks the potential victim to send money to a bank in Mexico City to claim their prize. A second call is received from another scammer claiming to be an FBI Agent or other member of a law enforcement agency calling to verify the first phone call from the original scammer call. A third call comes in from someone posing as a member of your local sheriff office, city or state police agency to lend legitimacy to the second call which was received from the FBI Agent. They will use a name of a true law enforcement official from one of the local agencies they have retrieved from an agencies website. They also are able to fraudulently change the caller ID to show the call is coming from a legitimate phone number from the local law enforcement agency.

Do not fall for this scam and reveal any of your personal or banking information to these scammers. Do not send any money to these people. Generally, if you ask the scammer for their name and phone number they will hang up. This is a very elaborate scheme in which the scammers know the names of actual local law enforcement officers off of the websites and are able to hide their true phone number and portray the real number of a local law enforcement agency on your caller ID to try and lend legitimacy to the scam call.

These types of cases are forwarded to federal authorities due to the technological and often foreign nature of the crimes being perpetrated from somewhere outside the United States in which local jurisdictions have no ability,  authority or jurisdiction to investigate.

Anyone receiving these calls is asked to contact the police department at 575-769-1921 to verify if they were actually being called by a true member of the Clovis Police Department.

A reminder Citizens may use TipSoft to provide information and remain anonymous at any time. Text users can send their tip to: "CRIMES" (274637) with the keyword TIPCPD. In other words, citizens can text “TIPCPD plus their crime tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).  Citizens can submit anonymous tips using their PC or mobile phone by going to www.tipsubmit.com, or anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 575-763-7000.